For more than a century, the Eugene Water & Electric Board has provided its customers with reliable
electric services at reasonable rates. As Oregon's largest citizen-owned municipal utility, we strive
to keep you informed about any changes in your electric rates.
On Dec. 1, EWEB commissioners will consider four options that would slightly modify how customers are charged for electric service and consumption. The
options will be subject of deliberations on the 2016 budget.
Included in each of the four options is an overall, 2.5 percent increase in electricity charges. This is due to an increase in the cost of electricity
EWEB (and all other Northwest public utilities) purchase from the federal Bonneville Power Administration. EWEB has also reduced its operating costs by
more than $2 million to keep from passing through the entire Bonneville cost increase.
Based on the average bill, almost all residential customers will see an increase of about $2.70 in your monthly electricity charges, regardless of
which option commissioners choose on Dec. 1. The four options under considered are:
- A $2.70 increase in the basic charge – equal to the Bonneville Power Administration “pass-through.” All customers would share equally in the BPA increase.
- An across the board increase of 2.5 percent of all four charges on the residential bill – basic charge, delivery charge and two energy charge tiers –
to cover the BPA pass-through.
- A $5 increase in the basic charge, to $25. The per-kilowatt-hour delivery charge and the two energy tiers would remain intact but the delivery charge
would be reduced to offset the non-BPA portion of the basic charge increase.
- A $5 increase in the basic charge, with a reduction of the consumption charges. The bill also would be simplified by eliminating the delivery charge
and the second energy tier.
In three out of the four options, the current rate structure would remain intact. The fourth option includes simplification of the bill by eliminating
the delivery charge and the second, higher tier for consumption.
As part of the budgeting process, Eugene Water & Electric Board commissioners elected not to increase electric rates in 2015. However, commissioners
approved some changes to the electric charges that customers see on their monthly bills. The changes are part of an ongoing effort by EWEB to look at
the structure of rates and determine whether they are being applied correctly and fairly, especially with the utility’s fixed costs, which are not
dependent on how much electricity customers consume. After public meetings in July, October, November and December, commissioners adopted three primary
changes to the residential electric rate structure:
1. The delivery charge, which is based on per-kilowatt hour consumption, was reduced by more than 19 percent.
2. The “basic charge” increased to $20 per month from $13.50.
3. The current consumption-based “Tier 3” was eliminated. “Tier 2” charges increased very slightly, from around 7.1 cents per kilowatt-hour to just over
7.2 cents per kilowatt hour.
- Reducing the delivery charge and shifting those revenues into the basic charge is more of a true reflection of our “fixed costs” for the electric
utility. We did the same thing for water a year or two ago. EWEB expects to shift more of these fixed costs into the basic charge in the next two to
- Many of the utility’s operating costs are the same no matter how much electricity customers consume. We still have the same number of substations, the
same number of poles and miles of wires, the same number of bills to send out, and the same number of customers dialing into our call center for
assistance. These costs stay the same, regardless of how much energy customers consume.
- Most customers should see some reduction in wintertime bills but an increase in summertime electric bills. On average, throughout the year, electric
bills for most customers (85 percent) should be about the same or even slightly lower, as long as their consumption remains the same.
- About 13 percent of residential customers who use very small amounts of electricity (less than 500 kwh per month) likely will see a slight increase in
their bills. The increase for these customers fully captures the fixed costs of delivering them electricity. Under the old structure, higher
consumption customers were essentially subsidizing a portion of fixed costs for lower consumption customers.
(Effective Feb. 1, 2015)
The Residential Electric rate is composed of three monthly charges: the Basic Charge, the Delivery Charge
and the Energy Charge.
Services that must be provided to you regardless of your usage, such as meter reading, billing and customer service,
are listed under Basic Charge.
The Delivery Charge covers the costs of all "back-end" work required to send power over EWEB's distribution system to your home.
It includes the operation and maintenance of local wires, transformers, poles and equipment.
The Energy Charge covers the costs of producing the electricity and transmitting it over long-distance transmission systems to Eugene's
distribution system. (If you have signed up for EWEB Greenpower, it will appear on this portion of your bill.)
General Service rates also include a Demand Charge, which charges for peak kilowatt (kW) usage during the billing period.
See rates for residential customers.
See rates for general service customers using 0-30 monthly kilowatts.
See rates for general service customers using 31-500 monthly kilowatts.
See rates for general service customers using 501-10,000 monthly kilowatts.
For large general service, street lighting and other electric rates, as well as all rate schedules, visit EWEB's Policies and Procedures Manual (Chapter V). The manual is in PDF format and contains left-hand bookmarks and links in the table of contents for easier navigation to the rate schedules.
The following graph illustrates how EWEB's current electric rates compare to rates in
12 other Northwest communities (as of February 2015).
Customer Service with additional questions.